— An Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility for the bombing of a local branch of the Egyptian security agency in Cairo on Thursday, the third major attack by militants in the capital this summer.
At least 20 people were wounded in the explosion, which was heard across the city around 2 a.m. and shredded the exterior of the building.
The Interior Ministry said in a statement that the source of the blast was a car bomb that had been left outside the white, five-story structure by an unidentified man who then fled on a motorcycle.
The government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has struggled with a wave of unusually brazen militant attacks this summer, including by jihadists who have pledged loyalty to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, operating in Syria and Iraq
Militant groups in Egypt
intensified their campaign against the government about two years ago, after the authorities killed hundreds of people while breaking up Islamist protest camps in the capital.
Despite a strong counterinsurgency campaign by the government, the militants have demonstrated a persistent ability to carry out complex attacks on the military and other government security installations, and they have broadened their attacks to include civilian targets and tourist attractions.
This month, Sinai Province, another affiliate of the Islamic State and Egypt’s most active militant group, said it had beheaded a Croatian who was working in Egypt — the first time the group is known to have killed a foreign captive.
Mr. Sisi signed a sweeping antiterrorism bill on Sunday that officials said would expedite trials of militants. Critics of the legislation said it did little to remedy flaws in the military’s counterinsurgency campaign but provided legal cover for a crackdown on opponents of the government.
In a statement posted on Twitter accounts tied to militants, the group that claimed responsibility for the bombing on Thursday called itself the Islamic State, Egypt.
A statement from a group using that name has appeared at least once before, after a blast at the Italian Consulate in Cairo last month that killed one person.
The group said that the bombing on Thursday, in the working-class neighborhood of Shubra al-Kheima, was carried out in retaliation for “the martyrs of Arab Sharkas” — a reference to the government’s execution this year of six men in connection with attacks on Egyptian security forces.
“Know that we are a people who do not forget our revenge,” the statement added.